Red Sun

1971 [FRENCH]

Action / Western

IMDb Rating 6.9 10 8258

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Charles Bronson as Link Stuart
John Landis as Henchman
Alain Delon as Gotch 'Gauche' Kink
Ursula Andress as Cristina

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by donlecouteur 8 / 10

Culture Clash in the Old West

On the surface Red Sun appears to be a fairly standard shoot-em-up with the attendant 'who's the real nasty?' sub-plot thrown in for a bit of mystery. But the careful observer will discover many more layers of this particular onion pitting cultures (and genders) against each other with a few surprising results and plenty of thought-provoking situations designed to keep this one on the shelf as a 'keeper'.

Bronson fans (like me) will note this is the second of his 'samurai connection'westerns...Magnificent Seven being the first...though the debate will probably never be resolved as to which was the better performance. True, some of the dialogue in this movie borders on juvenile, but overall I rate the movie very high.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7 / 10

RED SUN (Terence Young, 1971) ***

This Franco-Italian "Eastern Western" has intrigued me since I read about it on a magazine, in view of its then-upcoming showing on Italian TV, when I was about 7 years old – but it literally seemed to vanish from the face of the earth in the interim! Given that fact and Leonard Maltin's unpromising ** rating, I had suspected that it was going to be a big disappointment when I eventually catch up with it – but, happily, it turned out not to be the case. It is actually a very enjoyable large-scale action film which, while perhaps lacking the touch of greatness, deserves to be re-evaluated more positively.

The four international leads – Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress – are top-notch and the supporting cast also includes Capucine, Anthony Dawson and Luc (here billed as Luke) Merenda. The chemistry between betrayed outlaw Bronson and samurai warrior Mifune is especially successful and provides the film with some nice humorous touches (as well as a couple of good lines); their casting is all the more interesting for its pairing one of THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954) with a member of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960), that film's equally popular Americanization! Delon has a smaller part than I was expecting but he does well as Bronson's double-crossing partner-in-crime who, apart from the pre-requisite European sophistication, has a vicious streak about him. Andress adds the required eye-candy as his sluttish girlfriend and, along with Monica Randall (playing Mifune's inexperienced one night stand at Capucine's rundown brothel), provides the film with some unexpected – if very welcome – dashes of nudity.

Besides, there's a fine if subdued score from Maurice Jarre; as befits the film's title, too, renowned cinematographer Henri Alekan often bathes the scenery in a warm golden hue and the use of remote locations throughout is inspired. Still, the film could probably do with a few trims here and there, as some scenes tend to go on too long – such as the afore-mentioned mid-section revolving around Bronson and Mifune, and the climactic Indian attack. The full-frame presentation is not too bad considering: I can only complain of excessive headroom on occasion and a general washed-out look to the print on the U.K. disc I watched.

Reviewed by scheelj1 7 / 10

The inspiration for Shanghai Noon

One thing's for sure, this is the only movie where you get to see a Samurai fight a Comanche. Charles Bronson plays an outlaw who robs a train. Among the passengers on the train is the ambassador of Japan and his samurai bodyguard, played by The Seven Samurai's Toshiro Mifune. When Bronson is double-crossed by one of the men in his gang, he teams up with the samurai to chase down the villain and get his revenge. If you think this sounds like a Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson movie, you're right on. Shanghai Noon was definitely a parody of this film. This is a very enjoyable, action-packed, unique western, but it definitely has some R-rated content. At the end of the day, it's hard to find a better Charles Bronson western. 4 out of 5 action rating

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